- Black Friday is known as the busiest shopping day of the year, with consumers rushing to stores to take advantage of bargains.
- But the day has also attracted a fair amount of backlash.
- This year, Twitter users are posting their critiques of Black Friday under the hashtag #BuyNothingDay.
- Buy Nothing Day has been around since the 1990s, as a protest against the consumer culture that Black Friday represents.
- Sign up for Business Insider’s retail newsletter, The Drive-Thru.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Black Friday is infamous for drawing huge crowds of deal-hungry shoppers into stores across the United States and around the world.
But some people are now marking the day after Thanksgiving by abstaining from purchasing retail goods. Many have taken to social media to critique Black Friday under the hashtag #BuyNothingDay.
Buy Nothing Day is nothing new. The protest against rampant consumerism was the brainchild of Canadian artist Ted Dave. The campaign gained steam in the 1990s when it was picked up by the nonprofit Adbusters.
This year, actor and activist Shailene Woodley lent her support to the campaign on Twitter, urging followers to stop fuelling “corporate polluters.”
Today is #BuyNothingDay! Will you join in and show corporate polluters that we don't accept trashing the planet for Black Friday profits. Thx @GreenpeaceUSA for the graphic! ????????✌️ pic.twitter.com/9zy8O9xE3s
— Shailene Woodley (@shailenewoodley) November 29, 2019
Other commenters expressed their support for the campaign, citing reasons like environmental concerns, unwillingness to support multinational retailers, and disillusionment with consumerism.
We need to do better. This #BlackFriday buy nothing. Fight to protect our one collective home this day and every day.
— Mike Hudema (@MikeHudema) November 29, 2019
Buy buy buy!
It'll make you happier!
How am i celebrating?
a) not buying anything
b) unsubscribing from any company that sends me a Black Friday email
— Russell Arnott (@Russell_Arnott) November 29, 2019
Though this #BuyNothingDay is a good idea, all that's really needed is a #BuyNothingYouWouldntAnywayDay and continue to buy a book from the bookshop, a coffee from the coffee shop, etc but do it indie and locally #shoplocal #buyindie
— Indie Bookshops and Publishers (@IndieBookshopUK) November 29, 2019
— Laura Marcus (@MissLauraMarcus) November 29, 2019
Put away the credit cards. Do not give them your money! Shop NOT the commercial juggernauts the NO HEART Walmart, TERRIBLE Target. CRAM Amazon. Instead: Buy local, buy handmade. Christmas is about love and friendship, not cold hard deals on stuff. #BuyNothingDay @revbillytalen
— Alexander Niver Polinsky (@Alex_Polinsky) November 29, 2019
As a former retail store worker and a concerned citizen, I invite you to celebrate #BuyNothingDay on Black Friday. Instead of shopping, please spend time with your loved ones. To all the retail workers working Thanksgiving and Black Friday, I salute you. @Adbusters pic.twitter.com/aZdzAsiSmg
— Сумаg ???? (@CyborgMagm4r) November 27, 2019
Others, like Civil Eats journalist Nadra Nittle, used the hashtag to share a word of caution about the backlash. In a 2018 piece published in Vox, Nittle wrote that the censure of Black Friday often takes on a racist and classist tone, with negative media coverage of Black Friday often vilifying low-income individuals and people of colour.
Low-income people, along with mothers and people of color, are the groups most likely to take part in Black Friday sales. Consider not shaming people for shopping during a time when they can actually afford to. #BuyNothingDay https://t.co/JZFoxGvp6t via @voxdotcom
— Nadra Nittle (@NadraKareem) November 29, 2019
- Read more about Black Friday:
- Black Friday has been a shopping bonanza for the last two decades. Here’s how it has evolved over the years.
- I went behind-the-scenes at a Best Buy on Thanksgiving to see what it’s really like to work during Black Friday, retail’s ‘Super Bowl’
- Costco’s website crashed for several hours over Thanksgiving, and experts estimate it could have cost the retailer nearly $US11 million in sales
- Furious shoppers say Walmart is selling out of major deals before Black Friday starts, with Apple Watches selling out in minutes